Developer: Pewter Game Studios
Publisher: Curve Digital
Platform: PC, PS4 (reviewed)
Release Date: December 13
*We received a free copy of The Little Acre for review.*
The Little Acre is a whimsical game that tells the tale of a fictitious family in 1950’s Ireland. A son goes in search of his father after his mysterious disappearance. And his daughter ends up following after him. Players take on the role of both, adopting their unique perspectives. Aidan is a caring father but cautious and somewhat easy to startle. While his daughter Lily, is a little more reckless and headstrong. The voice acting for these characters is on point and the game’s hand-drawn art style is charming.
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The point and click adventure is filled with plenty of puzzles to solve, though all are fairly easy and the difficulty does not really change. If players are struggling, nothing really prevents them from using the hint button. So, the game lacks much of a challenge. Instead, it chooses to focus on the story. This is unfortunate because scenes move quickly and there are just too few of them to flesh out what could have been a potentially glorious narrative.
It’s sad because, at its heart, The Little Acre is a game about family. From a spying garden gnome to a heroic family dog, parts of the story very strong. But other scenes seemed to lack or missing and the game ends abruptly leaving the player wanting more.
The whole game can be completed in less than an hour. It is like getting the most fantastic frosting you’ve ever tasted when you want cake. It’s genuinely sweet but it lacks much substance. And I’m left like a very confused judge on an episode of Chopped going, “you included all the key ingredients, and this is the best frosting I’ve ever tasted, but we asked for cake”. Furthermore, I find myself more likely to chop a developer giving me an awful cake rather than giving fantastic frosting without any cake at all. With that in mind, I include what the game has going for it, despite its lack of substance, in my rating criterion for its final score.